There are no binding international laws — not one — to regulate the global arms and ammunition trade, making it easy for war lords, war criminals, and genocidal dictators to get their hands on weapons to commit atrocities.
This can change on March 18-28 as world leaders meet to negotiate a global Arms Trade Treaty. The treaty makes it possible to stop the flow of weapons into the wrong hands, providing hope to the tens of millions around the world who stand in harm’s way.
The Arms Trade Treaty supports a notion that we think everyone can agree on: no arms for those who would commit atrocities.
Last year, after intense pressure from the National Rifle Association, the Obama administration stalled progress on negotiations. Last month we responded – thousands of supporters acted with us in refuting the NRA’s campaign of misinformation about the treaty.
The American Bar Association, former military leaders, and members of Congress are all telling President Obama: The Arms Trade Treaty is not about taking arms out of the hands of law abiding citizens, whether in the United States or abroad, but rather about keeping them out of the hands of the world’s worst human rights abusers.
Rather than changing U.S. laws, the Treaty would force other countries to meet the higher standards of international trade in weapons already in place in the U.S., creating an international background check. It would provide added legal tools to hold those who sell weapons to human rights abusers accountable.
Arms are being sold right now to those committing atrocities in Syria, Burma, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. As Admiral Stuart Platt (Ret.) has stated, “The ATT [Arms Trade Treaty] gives us an opportunity to clamp down and stop this spread of terror and violence.”
Perpetrators of genocide and atrocities WILL be affected by the Arms Trade Treaty. The treaty would close loopholes exploited by international arms traffickers to supply weapons to warlords, terrorists, and severe human rights abusers.
The United States has an obligation not only to support the Arms Trade Treaty but to make it as strong as possible to keep weapons out of the hands of the world’s worst dictators and human rights abusers.
The lives of hundreds of thousands would be directly impacted with the passage of the Arms Trade Treaty. Don’t let this second chance pass us by. Act now to support the Arms Trade Treaty.